The National Education Association, which is the nation’s largest teachers’ union as well as the largest labor union, wrote in a tweet this week that educators “know better than anyone” how to help children learn and thrive.
The NEA is both a formidable force in state and national politics and arguably one of the most powerful entities working to limit parental rights and institutionalize radical left-wing social ideology in the classroom.
This subtly subversive comment from the union drew the attention of former Trump administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a prominent school choice advocate, who smacked back by quipping “You misspelled parents.”
“Together, families and educators are an essential team for advocating for the resources and opportunities all students need,” the union replied in a tweet.
“Out-of-touch billionaires, however, are not,” it added, taking a thinly veiled swipe at DeVos, the daughter of billionaire Edgar Prince, brother to Blackwater USA founder Erik Prince, and wife to Amway CEO Dick DeVos and also a businesswoman and investor in her own right.
Interestingly, DeVos’ views tend to be far more in line with that of a grassroots movement of non-billionare parents who have protested and drawn attention to the radical policies the NEA strongly backs, such as the prominence of public school curriculum rooted in critical theory perspectives on sexuality, gender, and race.
The nation’s top teachers unions also tend to be the primary, if not sole, figures behind political opposition to the kind of school choice legislation that DeVos has championed during her career.
Scrutiny of public school curriculum and policies shot to the forefront of the American political scene — and into the consciousness of everyday parents — during the pandemic.
In 2021, as parents begged schools to re-open and let children, suffering from a year of disrupted learning, NEA fought to keep schools closed, demanding stringent COVID-19 masking, testing, and vaccine mandates when children were largely shown to contract and succumb to the virus at stunningly low rates.
Meanwhile, as parents protested, the National School Board Association called on the Department of Justice to investigate activists involved with the oftentimes rowdy school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”
This is something that Attorney General Merrick Garland took up despite the NSBA later apologizing for the extremity of its open letter.
Parental rights has since become one of the Republican Party’s top rallying cries as it goes up against the teachers’ union-backed Democrats, many of whom have emphatically backed the authority of teachers over parents when it comes to controversial curricula and policies.
In Virginia’s governor race last year, Democrat candidate Terry McAulliffe received the full support of the nation’s most powerful teachers unions and opposed now-Governor Glenn Youngkin’s campaign for parental rights, telling him during a debate that “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Just last week in the wake of the November 8 midterm elections, in which parental rights candidates enjoyed strong success, Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA) declared it was “so stupid” to say parents should be in charge of their education.
Responding to a quote from Republican Sen. Tim Scott (SC) in which the newly re-elected lawmaker had said “we are putting parents back in charge of their kids’ education,” Swalwell declared, “What are we doing next? Putting parents in charge of their own surgeries? Clients in charge of their own trials? When did we stop trusting experts. This is so stupid.”
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